Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Möttölä Tribute Thread

  1. #1
    Administrator mvblair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Posts
    11,247

    Default Möttölä Tribute Thread

    Yesterday, as reported in the signings and rumors thread, Hanno Möttölä retired from basketball. Möttölä is without a doubt the best basketball player from Finland. Möttölä played for a lot of big time teams: Tau, Bologna, Zalgiris, Pesaro, Aris, and Dynamo Moscow.

    By his senior season at the University of Utah, he was averaging more than 17 points per game. Americans will remember him most for his 15 point, 8 rebound clutch performance against future NBA All-Stars in the 1998 NCAA Championship Game, which ended in a loss to the University of Kentucky. Many future NBA players were on both teams, including Nazr Mohammed, Scott Padgett, and Jamaal Magloirre for Kentucky, and Möttölä’s teammates Andre Miller, Britton Johnson, and Michael Doleac.

    A lot of people viewed him as an underrated senior who could potentially be a game-changing NBA player. Unfortunately for NBA fans, he only played a few minutes per game in his two years with the Atlanta Hawks. He did not entertain other offers for NBA contracts. In 2002, he moved to Europe and established himself as one of the best big men in the game. In his best years in the EL and ULEB, he could average more than 15 points per game. He performed even better in domestic leagues.

    Möttölä’s retirement comes at a time when he was still performing well in the EL. Although his numbers were certainly down, Möttölä could still compete. The Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat says that he wanted to retire while he could still play well.

    I don’t know his game very much beyond internet videos. I never watched him play for the Finnish National Team. Would anybody care to share their memories of the famous, fantastic Finn?



  2. #2
    Senior Member Khalid80's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Abu Dhabi, UAE
    Posts
    11,102
    Country: Lebanon

    Default

    It's very rare to see such a gifted and talented basketball player from a Scandanavian country as Hanno Möttölä.
    I think the main reason is cuz basketball was never a popular sport in these countries.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Yeah Hanno is without a doubt the greatest player to ever come out of the nordic countries. During the last 10 years he has more or less been synonymous with Finnish basketball. And even though Hanno isn´t in his absolute prime any more, he was still capable of competing on the top level in Europe, which he proved in recent games with the national team. In that sence it´s not entirely easy to understand his retirement. The national team would surely need him in next summers qualifying matches.

    Before his retirement there we´re rumours that he might continue playing in the Finnish league with Topo or Honka. But despite his retirement, Hanno announced that he´s gonna continue playing on the third highest level in Finland, with a team called FC Passe. I suppose he´s pretty much gonna murder the competition on that level, if he feels like it.

    As a basketball fan from Finland I´m really gonna miss Hanno Möttölä. He was a great athlete and it´s sad to see him go. On the other hand, his decision is completely understandable. There are too many examples of athletes who really should have retired much earlier.

    Last edited by Boriz; 09-27-2008 at 09:50 AM.

  4. #4
    Administrator rikhardur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    21,175
    Country: Portugal

    Default

    Finnish Great Möttölä Announces Retirement From Game


    // 26 September 2008
    There is good news and bad news following the Finland's first EuroBasket Division A run since their promotion-winning campaign of 2006-07.

    The Finns are happy that they won three games, including Saturday's 88-73 home triumph over Hungary. They're positively ebullient after avoiding a last-place finish in a ‘Group of Death' that also included Serbia, Bulgaria, Italy and the Hungarians.

    They are giddy about earning the chance to play in next year's Additional Qualifying Round for EuroBasket 2009 in Poland.

    Yet there is a touch of regret.

    The country's biggest basketball star, Hanno Möttölä, has decided that it's time to retire as a basketball player.

    That means no more games for clubs, or country.

    "The retirement decision wasn't made in the locker room after the game against Hungary," the 32-year-old Möttölä said.

    "I am a person who likes projects. For the past year, the name of the project was to earn direct qualification for Finland to the European Championships.

    "Although we won against some great countries in the summer and in qualifying, direct qualification could not be reached.

    "It's better for everyone that I don't play next year just to be in shape for next summer's additional qualifiers. I respect the sport more than that. Everyday motivation has to be there for a professional athlete."


    Möttölä averaged 11.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in this summer's campaign which saw Finland hand Serbia their only defeat in Division A.

    He is, arguably, the greatest Finn ever to play the game.

    Möttölä was the first-ever Finnish player to reach the NBA and he was also the first from his country to compete in the Euroleague. He was the first Finn to compete in the Euroleague Final Four.

    A record eight times Möttölä was voted Basketball Player of the Year in Finland.

    Even before his professional days, Möttölä was raising eyebrows with his performances in America where he made four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances with Utah under their former coach, Rick Majerus.

    Möttölä, in 1998, reached the promised land known as the NCAA Final Four, and then made it to the title game.

    National team boss Henrik Dettmann, in his first spell as Finland coach, had called Möttölä into the national team at the tender age of 18. That was in 1995, and Dettmann took him to the 1995 EuroBasket in Athens, a decision that caused quite a stir back in Finland and gave everyone a strong indication that Möttölä could be a special player.

    The game against Hungary last Saturday was his 100th with the senior national side of Finland.

    "I think Hanno's story is one of a young kid loving every kind of competition and maturing into a great athlete who dedicated his last playing years for his national team and his home country," Dettmann said.

    "It's been a great honour coaching a player like Hanno.

    "I am happy that I have been able to work closely with such a great player."

    Dettmann, no doubt, would prefer that Möttölä did not retire.

    "There are only a few players who would turn down the Euros that are still available for Hanno in European competitions," Dettmann said.

    "Some might question his decision, but it just shows that his values are somewhere else."

    Möttölä's priorities are with his family.

    He has a four-year-old daughter and a two-year-old son.

    "I have been planning on retiring for a while now and coming home with my family after spending 12 years abroad," he said.


    "It was a good time to make the decision."

    Anyone who thinks Möttölä's departure signals the end for Finland in basketball is sadly mistaken.

    Will this team make it back to the Final Round one day?

    "It will happen, sooner or later," Möttölä said.

    "I am hoping it will happen next year with our current players.

    "Our national team programme has taken a huge step forward during my career and Finnish players are on totally different level now."

    There is no turning back for Möttölä, though.

    "I want to focus on my family for now," he said.

    "Although my playing days are over, I will be involved somehow later on. I want to give back to Finnish basketball. When and how - that will be determined in the future."
    http://www.fibaeurope.com/coid_aoyjj...leMode_on.html
    Die Liebe wird eine Krankheit, wenn man sie als eine Heilung sieht
    Artificial Nature

  5. #5
    Administrator mvblair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Posts
    11,247

    Default

    Thanks for the article, Rik. I like reading about his "domestic" priorities.
    Quote Originally Posted by Boriz
    In that sence it´s not entirely easy to understand his retirement. The national team would surely need him in next summers qualifying matches.
    So, what is the Finnish media saying about him? Are they supportive or angry?
    But despite his retirement, Hanno announced that he´s gonna continue playing on the third highest level in Finland, with a team called FC Passe.
    Really? Is that true? He'll play for a DIII team?
    As a basketball from Finland I´m really gonna miss Hanno Möttölä.
    Everybody will miss him. My only regret about Mottola retiring is that I never got to watch him play professionally.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mvblair
    So, what is the Finnish media saying about him? Are they supportive or angry?
    I´d say that the Finnish media is pretty much supportive as are most fans. Coach Dettmann and fellow team mates have also given Hanno their full supprt. Dettman stated that Hanno still has a spot in the national team if he regrets his decision. But somehow I thinks it´s really unlikely that he will make a come back for next summers qualifying games. I definitely think we´ve seen the last of Hanno on the top level. As for him playing in the Finnish second division (the third higest level), it´s completely true. It´s mentioned in the article below. The team consists of Hannos friends and retired players from the Finnish top league. So is you wanna see him play it´s possible. Just fly to Finland to enjoy some high quality division 2 basketball


    http://www.helsinkitimes.fi/htimes/i...ort&Itemid=163

  7. #7
    Administrator rikhardur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    21,175
    Country: Portugal

    Default

    Möttölä Back In The Saddle For Finns

    France, Italy and FINLAND!

    The Finns had better not be overlooked by the French and Italians when the Additional Qualifying Round for this year's EuroBasket is staged.

    Already a dangerous side with the tantalizing backcourt of Teemu Rannikko and emerging star Petteri Koponen, the Nordic country has just received a major boost with long-time center Hanno Möttölä announcing that he has ended his brief retirement from basketball to play for Finland and to resume his club career.

    The 32-year-old held a press conference in Vantaa, the home of the national team, to say that he was back in the squad.

    "I wouldn't consider this a comeback," Möttölä said. "This is more like a next stage of my career."

    Möttölä, for want of a better word, was burned out after last year's qualifying campaign.

    A family man wanting to spend more time with his young children, the 32-year-old decided to quit basketball.

    "Nine months ago," he said, "I felt absolutely exhausted and empty, and I didn't have the joy and motivation my body needs for full time training.

    "Now I've had the opportunity to get the mental and physical break I needed, and during the winter my desire and motivation came back.

    "When I realized that the desire didn't go away, there was no need to resist."

    So after a long break, the 2.09m power forward started to work out again with his personal and national team physical trainer, Jussi Hirvonen.

    Hardly anyone knew that for the past three months that Möttölä was planning to play again.

    "Although running track and lifting weights is entirely different than being in basketball shape, my physical capabilities are much better than during last summer or season before that," he said.

    Möttölä's return to the game has added to the huge buzz in Finland that had been generated when two other Finnish sportsmen decided to come out of retirement in the past three months.

    One was world champion ski-jumper Janne Ahonen, who sent his regards to Möttölä.

    "If the older guys still are able to do it, us younger ones have nothing to worry about," said Ahonen, who is a year younger than Möttölä .

    "Batteries are obviously charged and it's time to go again. Good luck - I know you are going to need it."

    The other Finnish great that couldn't stay away from competition was Rally World Champion Marcus Grönholm and he also had something to say to the basketball star.

    "Retirement ain't easy," Grönholm said. "It's hard to stay away from something, if you love it."

    Möttölä won't be launching himself into the air in the snow-covered mountains like Ahonen, and he won't be taking daring drives along rocky, dirt roads like Grönholm.

    He and his teammates have a different sort of challenge.

    They face an incredibly difficult task to reach the EuroBasket with games against France and Italy in Group of the Additional Qualifying Round.

    If they finish top of that group, then they will have to beat the winner of Group A - Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina or Portugal.

    "Of course it is a big thing to measure ourselves against teams like Italy and France, but even if we weren't in the qualifications, I would still have come back," Möttölä said.

    "Desire to win, the joy, the passion - everything is back and that's the main thing. Anyway, it is much more pleasant to play realizing that we have to go full speed ahead from the beginning."

    Both France and Italy will have prominent players in the NBA in their squads, and Möttölä knows he will have his hands full underneath the basket.

    "It is true that we will be the underdogs heading to these games," he said. "Then again, we are very ready as a team. We've had the same core for years now.

    "When training camp begins, everybody knows from the beginning what we ought to be doing. In the end, we have to be tougher as a team than five individuals in the opposing teams."

    Experience is vital, so the return of Rannikko, who missed last year's games through injury, and now Möttölä means national team coach Henrik Dettmann has two players with a lot of minutes in the Finland jersey.

    Möttölä made his debut at the EuroBasket in 1995 under Dettmann, who was in his first spell as coach of Finland, and went on to play for the national side 100 times.

    He was the first Finn to reach the NBA and he was also the first from his country to play in the Euroleague, not to mention the first Finland player to compete in that competition's Final Four.

    A record eight times Möttölä was voted Basketball Player of the Year in Finland.

    Möttölä averaged 11.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game last summer in EuroBasket Division A.
    http://www.fibaeurope.com/coid_cGXe5...frontpage.html
    Die Liebe wird eine Krankheit, wenn man sie als eine Heilung sieht
    Artificial Nature

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    1
    Country: United States

    Exclamation

    Hanno is an amazing person. Very kind and funny! I had seen him play against the Boston Celtics when he was with the Alanta Hawk. The game was in Boston. When we were young Hanno, Myself, my sister and our other cousin used to play soccer a lot. Also Tennis. We also would always run and see who was the fastest. So sports was a huge thing. Track and Field is very popular in Finland.
    He is very graceful when you plays Basketball. One word comes to my mind Slinky. He has always been very talented in any type of sport including soccer and Tennis. He now lives in Finland with a wonderful family and Plays for the Finnish Euroleague.

    Liia

    l i i s a b j o r k @ g m a i l . c o m

    my name has 2 i's
    Last edited by rikhardur; 12-03-2011 at 03:38 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •